Thursday, 3 November 2016
Raphaël Freida’s illustration for Octave Mirbeau’s “Le Jardin des Supplices” (The Torture Garden), 1927
Raphaël Freida (1877–1942)
Illustration from Octave Mirbeau’s (1848–1917) “Le Jardin des Supplices” (The Torture Garden), 1927.
Etching on wove paper (Japon) with remarque (an oriental pavilion?) at lower right as published in an edition of 525 with 60 impressions on Japon paper (of which this impression is a part).
Size: (sheet) 32.3 x 24.7 cm
Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression in near pristine condition. There are remnants of mounting hinges (verso).
I am selling this very graphic etching of figures in great distress for a total cost of AU$207 (currently US$158.51/EUR142.83/GBP128.53 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this visually arresting original print, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
Raphaël Freida’s background is somewhat hazy beyond being a painter, poster artist and, as revealed in the case of this print, an illustrator (see https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapha%C3%ABl_Freida).
This startling and somewhat savagely gruesome etching is an illustration for Octave Mirbeau’s (1848–1917) “Le Jardin des Supplices” (1927)—“The Torture Garden.” Even though I have not read Mirbeau's book, this illustration gives me a strong idea about its content—a novel not for the squeamish.
Regarding the play of agony shown in the print, I am reminded of the sublime etchings of Kathe Kollwitz dealing with similar states of mental and physical anguish. Moreover, I have no doubt that the dreadful experiences arising from the wars raging through Europe at the time when Freida was working on this print would have helped to shape the brutality of the image.
A brief but excellent review of Mirbeau’s book and Freida’s illustrations are offered in “Feuilleton”, an online journal/blog, by artist and designer John Coulthart; see http://www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2013/12/07/raphael-freidas-torture-garden/